Lust by Simon Blackburn
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By Simon Blackburn


The Seven Deadly Sins

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Format: Hardback

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Lust by Simon Blackburn

Book Description

Lust, says Simon Blackburn, is furtive, headlong, always sizing up opportunities. It is a trail of clothing in the hallway, the trashy cousin of love. But be that as it may, the aim of this delightful book is to rescue lust "from the denunciations of old men of the deserts, to deliver it from the pallid and envious confessor and the stocks and pillories of the Puritans, to drag it from the category of sin to that of virtue." Blackburn, author of such popular philosophy books as Think and Being Good, here offers a sharp-edged probe into the heart of lust, blending together insight from some of the world's greatest thinkers on sex, human nature, and our common cultural foibles. Blackburn takes a wide ranging, historical approach, discussing lust as viewed by Aristophanes and Plato, lust in the light of the Stoic mistrust of emotion, and the Christian fear of the flesh that catapulted lust to the level of deadly sin. He describes how philosophical pessimists like Schopenhauer and Sartre contributed to our thinking about lust and explores the false starts in understanding lust represented by Freud, Kinsey, and modern "evolutionary psychology." But most important, Blackburn reminds us that lust is also life-affirming, invigorating, fun. He points to the work of David Hume (Blackburn's favorite philosopher) who saw lust not only as a sensual delight but also "a joy of the mind." Written by one of the most eminent living philosophers, attractively illustrated and colourfully packaged, Lust is a book that anyone would lust over.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195162004
ISBN-10: 0195162005
Format: Hardback
(186mm x 133mm x 19mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 31-Dec-2003
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Simon Blackburn

Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy by Simon Blackburn Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Paperback (February 2016)

This dictionary is written by one of the leading philosophers of our time, and it is recognized as the best dictionary of its kind. Comprehensive and authoritative, it includes over 3,300 alphabetical entries, it is the ideal introduction to philosophy for anyone with an interest in the subject, as well as students and teachers.

Plato's Republic by Simon Blackburn Plato's Republic, Paperback (October 2014)

Plato is perhaps the most significant philosopher who has ever lived and the ""Republic"", composed in Athens in about 375BC, is widely regarded as his most famous dialogue. Its discussion of the perfect city - and the perfect mind - laid the foundations for Western culture and, for over two thousand years, has been the cornerstone of Wester...

Mirror, Mirror by Simon Blackburn Mirror, Mirror, Hardback (February 2014)

Drawing on philosophy, psychology, literature, history, and popular culture, this book offers an enlightening and entertaining exploration of self-love, from the myth of Narcissus and the Christian story of the Fall to today's self-esteem industry.

» View all books by Simon Blackburn


US Kirkus Review » Just in time for Valentine's Day: a presentation of lust's better angels. Of course, Blackburn (Philosophy/Cambridge Univ.; Being Good, 2001, etc.) admits in this third volume from the New York Public Library/Oxford University Press series on the seven deadly sins, there is lust for power, lust for wealth, lust for lots of things. But venery, the yearning for sex, is the lust that really engages our interest. Blackburn offers exegesis on the spotted history of lust since Eden. He enlists high-minded Plato and the Greeks, calls upon lofty Shakespeare, reviews Augustine and the theology of sex, marshals the views of Kant and Hobbes, trots out Sappho, Sartre, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. He writes of prostitution, pornography, and feminist objection to objectification. "Lust knows no decorum," our instructor allows. His gnostic treatise, nevertheless, is quite decorous, indeed. For all the wanton glances, the brief text is cool, not tumid with human fervor; it is slick, but hardly lubricious, and it is fully footnoted. In true-blue British fashion, Blackburn's upper lip remains quite stiff. There's more sense here than sensuality, though ultimately he does grant that lust aims simply at "a good lay." A thoughtfully burnished essay on a titillating topic. (Illustrated) (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Simon Blackburn

Simon Blackburn is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He was Edna J. Doury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, and from 1969 to 1990 was a Fellow and Tutor at Pembroke College, Oxford. He is the author of The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy and the best-selling Think and Being Good, among other books.

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